Paint brushes are incredibly powerful tools that allow Artists to bring what’s in their mind into the world. I actually love old paint brushes. I know that sounds a bit loopy but I really do. I look for them every time I am out hunting up vintage finds. There is something so pretty about old brushes and I find myself wondering what stories it would tell if it could…
Did you know that paint brushes have been around in one form or another since the beginning of time? Ok, maybe not the moment time started but for a very, very, very long time.The original “brushes” did not have bristles as we know them today. Sticks, bone fragments or leaves were originally used to apply paint and apply pigment. It wasn’t until the Industrial Age (and the development of the ferrule) that we began to attach hair to sticks to make the brushes we know today.
The Parts of a Brush
There are 3 main parts of any paint brush…
The bristles – The bristles hold the paint and can vary drastically between brushes. They can be synthetic or natural, long or short, angled or straight. Some say the bristles are the most important part of a brush for they are what allow a painter to create their visions.
The ferrule – This is what holds the brush together. It is a metal ring, in the middle of the brush, that has been crimped to hold the bristles and the handle together. The invention of the ferrule changed how Artists create forever.
The handle – Handles are made from a wide variety of material from plastics to wood. Their shape is very important to those who paint often. Long handles help an Artist reach further while shorter ones provide more control. The thickness of the handle also contributes to how long a painter can hold and work with the brush without fatigue.
Flat – Flat brushes usually hold paint well and are used on large surface areas like walls or furniture.
Angled – Angled brushes work well for cutting along edges or getting into tight spots.
Round – Round brushes are excellent at holding a lot of paint and have a softer more subtle stoke to them. (They are my personal favourite!)
Artists – Artist brushess are small brushes that can be used for painting works of art, crafts and for painting detail work on furniture.
All brushes, no matter what they are made from, need to be cared for to make them last. Check out this post from last year about the cheapest and easiest way to clean your brushes so that you can get the most out of them for years to come.
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